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Although it’ll be some years (at least three or four, according to zoo sources) before the living long-necked ungulates, aka giraffes, are actually roaming the grasslands of Chattanooga, you can experience a facsimile right now.
Through the generous donation of zoo supporter Paul Smith, a steel giraffe sculpture now stands close by the entrance—and when we say stands, we mean stands nearly 18 feet tall, gazing serenely down at visitors.
This “mama giraffe” had a home at Rustique Iron, Inc. of Atlanta for the past eight years, where owner Tony Little had it custom made. Zoo officials hope it will spark donations towards the acquisition of the giraffes, whose one-acre living area has already been set aside as part of the zoo’s continuing $12.5 million renovation and expansion. To help, visit chattzoo.org and click on “Support The Zoo,” or plan to attend the annual Banana Bowl on Oct. 12.